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A Shave And A Clean Shirt

–Stories From The Dirt Road

Every morning just before the rooster crowed, I would sneak into daddy’s room and watch him shave.  Daddy liked to feel fresh and clean to start the day.  He put out his silver wash pan, soap, his shaving cup, and brush.  He washed his face with hot water, then placed the soap in the shaving jar and worked up a lather covering his face that looked like a white beard.  He would put some on my face and I would use a plastic spoon to shave it off.  He had a leather strap to sharpen the razor, running it up and down the strap.  I loved the sound it made.

Slowly he would shave a small section wiping the soap on a towel until he was finished.  He would reach for a hot towel and wrap it around his face.  It reddened his face and opened pores.   Reaching for his lime Old Spice aftershave he would splash his face with the refreshing scent.  Daddy reached into the closet and pulled out a clean ironed work shirt, rolling up the sleeves, getting the folds even.  The finishing touch was a waxed cotton hat and a big smile.  Daddy was ready for the new day.

Daddy had three pairs of work pants, one pair of jeans, and a pair of khaki dress pants.  He had three Army shirts his brother had given him and a white shirt for Sunday dinner.  Daddy believed that starting the day with a shave and a clean shirt was an important way the begin the day.  We did not have a washing machine, so Mom had to wash them in a galvanized tub and dry them on a line behind the house.  Daddy would heat the iron up and get the shirt ready for the next morning.

He always started his day this way and said we should take pride in what we have and present our best self to the world.  After all, without words, you must present a silent confidence.

Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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